British Uniforms of the Zulu War 1879
English line regiments: Foreign service helmet was usually dyed buff or off-white with either tea or coffee. This helmet was the only concession to the heat. Badges were unlikely to have been retained. Red tunics with facing colours as listed below. Some regiments had white piping on the jackets. Blue trousers with red side stripe. Gaiters and boots black. Leather equipment white/buff. The more experienced soldiers were often in full beards. ‘Old sweats’ also frequently tied rags around the barrels of their guns, as the Martini-Henry would soon become hot enough to burn the palms of hands.
The 1st Battalion of the 24th was composed of older men whilst the 2nd Battalion were less experienced, many men being on the new shorter service terms of six years. White good conduct and long service chevrons (inverted) were worn on lower right arm. Officers sometimes wore blue patrol jackets with black frogging. At Isandhlwana the 24th had their 1st or Queen’s Colour with them, which Melvill and Coghill attempted to save.
FACING COLOURS: 3rd, 90th Foot buff; 4th, 13th, 21st (although Scottish) blue; 24th, 88th green; 57th, 80th yellow; 58th black; 94th Lincoln Green. Cuffs normally had a white Austrian knot. Plain shoulder straps were also usually piped white with brass regimental number.
RMLI: Royal Marine Light Infantry had similar style of uniform in this campaign, except that the tunic was dark blue and the ammunition pouches black.
RIFLEMEN: 3/60th Rifles can also use the same figures (only the sword bayonet was different), but their uniform tunic was dark (rifle) green and their trousers virtually black, with cuffs and lower edge of the collar edged red, all leather equipment (including rifle sling) black, and NCO chevrons black edged in red, worn on both sleeves.
SCOTTISH LINE REGIMENTS: Only 91st (Princess Louise’s Argyllshire) Highlanders wore serge doublet as on these figures, being the only Highland Regiment. Collar patches were yellow, piping and tapes on cuffs/buttonholes was white. NCOs wore yellow chevrons on both sleeves. Pipers wore green tunic and kilt.
BRITISH ARTILLERY: Buff helmet dyed as other units. Blue tunic with red collar and piping on shoulder straps. Yellow lower edge to collar, and Austrian knot on sleeve. Trousers blue with red stripe. White belt. Black boots.